A Couple on the Rocks

Well-dressed, well-lubricated urbanites Nick and Nora Charles made their first screen appearance in 1934 in The Thin Man, personifying a uniquely upper-crust, down-to-earth breed of New York fauna. Trading caustic-but-loving bon mots while knocking back trays of newly legal martinis -- not that Prohibition had impeded their imbibing -- the couple (played with winning bonhomie by William Powell and Myrna Loy) made an unbeatable amateur-detective team over the course of six droll murder mysteries. San Francisco writer and boozer extraordinaire Dashiell Hammett created the characters in what proved to be his last novel, and Hollywood booked them a trip to our tippling burg in the sequels After the Thin Man and Shadow of the Thin Man. What was San Francisco like in the 1930s? Where did Bill Powell find a drink on (or off) Nob Hill? Local film historian and biographer Emily Leider, author of last fall’s Myrna Loy: The Only Good Girl in Hollywood, entertainingly supplies the answers tonight via tales and clips of “Nick and Nora’s San Francisco.” Presented by the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, this may be a good place to try out that new flask. If anybody stops you, tell ’em Nick sent you.
Tue., Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m., 2012

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